Non-Judged: Part II

by Peter Wogan

Last year, as many of my loyal readers know, I wrote a piece on non-judged science fair projects. This year I took to the streets once again to portray what some call an “insanely intense atmosphere.”

To my surprise I found out this year that non-judged projects can in fact win awards, if that project is specific to a certain field it can be nominated by teacher(s) for special awards. Contrary to popular expectations I did not take home one of these awards, neither did my fellow non-judged peer Aidan W.

Aidan had a reasonable explanation for our participation in the non-judged category, “We just wanted to level the playing field (by not sweeping all of the categories)”. When asked about the atmosphere he excitedly responded, “It was intense, there was some heavy competition for the few non-judged awards.”

On a serious note I think it is fair to say that there is an atmosphere that labels non judged projects as second rate. Much of the time these speculations are made without any real insight into the competency of the project.

There also might be a misunderstanding or assumption by some people that students simply don’t believe their project to be commendable and that is why they choose to be in the non-judged category.

Along with many generalizations that people commonly make it’s not fair blanket statements like that, especially without a true understanding of the non-judged projects and the people behind them.

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